Family, Myself

Happy Birthday Papa

It’s strange to be in his house and not hear his voice or silliness fill the space around us. I also know that spending the day in sadness is not something he would stand for so I will focus instead on celebrating how he lived his life: full of joy, energy and silliness.

I admit it’s not always easy to pretend that it doesn’t hurt that he isn’t here, but spending every moment bemoaning that fact not only dishonors his memory, it neglects the fact that he lived a full life.

The past few days have been hard for me as I stayed home in bed due to the flu, and I just felt him everywhere. Yet it’s also been a great reminder of how much of a legacy he left. So today I celebrate as best I can, and remind myself that I was blessed for how long I had him in my life for, and I get accept it in gratitude.

Happy Birthday, Papa. Sanjay Misses You.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past, Myself

365 Days

And just like that  a year has passed. Papa. I would have never thought I wouldn’t hear your voice again or that not see you comb your hair right before a picture. I hear you in my head. You  enjoyed life, and made it your mission to be silly and make others laugh, and I catch myself doing the same. I refuse to be melancholy or be sad every day because that is not my way to honoring you. It still isn’t easy accepting it, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Each morning in the Gurudwara, I acknowledge that I miss you, and then move forward and keep you in mind as I practice law, and do the things you wished for all of us. I regret that I didn’t get more time, but then again, the time we had been so wonderful that I count myself blessed.

One thing is clear that in the year you have been gone, I am different, but in a good way. Your absence a constant reminder that I get to honor you not drown myself in self-pity. I gotta tell you, it hasn’t been easy. The house of laughter you created had fewer laughs, but we are your children, and we have managed a few. Not much, but a few. And then there will be more laughter, more silliness, more love for music. more Ziba Music because you ensured you left a legacy with your family.

So although it’s been 365 days, not a single one has passed without you in our hearts and minds.

Papa Loves You.

Sanjay Loves You

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, My Past, Myself

Checking In

If you are friends with me on Facebook then you have recently seen an upsurge in my Yelp check ins.I always check in with a tinge of shame and guilt. The shame is usually that I feel as if I am bragging about what a great life I have, and guilt that perhaps I shouldn’t be posting so much. And why Yelp?  First off, it’s because I only check into places I enjoy and want others to have the same experience, and secondly any commentary I put there is because I want the people I am with know how much their company means to. These past few days have meant a lot as I was lucky enough to meet so many I care about.

Then there are also the non-yelp moments where I couldn’t check in.  A beautiful one hour conversation with an old friend in New York.  We have managed to keep going for almost two decades this way. And watching Star Wars on Kodi and then breaking into tears as I missed my father intensely to the self-loathing I feel for not doing more to better my life. The anger from an argument where it felt easier to blame another when in fact, they are a mirror into my life.

So don’t just look at the check ins and picture a wondrous life because the reality is that while the check ins are happy moments, they are plenty of emotional states one doesn’t get to see.

Food For Thought, Journal, Myself

Wait But Why

Arriving back from Jackson, Mississippi late last night, it hit me how it was good to change to your environment for a few days. It is easy to get caught up in the hum drum of daily life, and while that consistency has its benefits, what I found was that with each travel occasion, I had a chance to deepen my love of interaction with others, find new food and stay in moments of gratitude that I have the privilege and luxury of being able to have new experiences.

It is too easy to take for granted the opportunities for connection with others that  you do not see very often. Although I was a relation by marriage to many there, I was made to feel like immediate family and that comfort and care pushed me to want to create more moments and opportunities like this in the future. Also, my crazy desire to try the best food where ever I am also played a big part.

A friend sent me a great article while I was there, and it seemed as if the Universe conspired yet again to let me know Papa looked out for me as it emphasized that we have very little in person time left with loved ones. It is easy to get so caught up in pursuing our financial dreams that we lose sight of the real treasures in front of us. So today, take time to make spending time with loved ones an EMERGENCY. Trust me when I say you will drown in regret if you lose that opportunity/

Food For Thought, Myself

Blabbering On Goals

76860c9f3dac9cd997e2d190be7f1bc7As I come close to revising a personal essay about Papa, it hit me that it is appropriate that I am beginning to approximate his waking time. I cannot help telling anyone that will listen how much I get done, and all that I wish to achieve this year. Yet a part of me cannot help feeling like a fraud and a blabbermouth. Doubt hangs heavy in the mornings when I struggle through my writing and review my goals. It feels as if I am kidding myself when day after day some goals remain not done or even forgotten. Yet I know there is more going on: Fear. Fear that I am a fraud, that I am boring others, that I am arrogant and egotistical for constantly sharing,  Fear that I am not good enough, and that I fill space by going on and one about what I wish to do.

But then slowly certain goals get done, great feedback from my Writers Groups, becoming athlete of the month at the gym, spending connected time with  my family, friends and being in service to others. All those things started with small steps, and false starts. They all began with me declaring and blabbering.  So I get to get out of my head and into action, knowing that I may not get to all or most of my goals, but I will still be further along than when I started.

Myself

30 Left To Go Into Acceptance

ecf90ab26b5234f936112a4493282394The morning quiet is only interrupted with the constant patter of the rain outside. This is my alone time, the house asleep, the gentle snore of the dog greets from my a distance.  The mornings get earlier and earlier (currently, I wake up 4:59am automatically almost daily). Surrounded by my collections of books, my planner, the current book I am reading,, it is an appropriate time and place to reflect. Gratitude fills me as Southern California needs the rain, and I think about all that I take for granted in my life. A loving family, a supportive spouse, intimate friendships, and my outrageous vision for my life.

Another year, I am now 45 yet it I don’t feel my age. My father passed at 79 and my grandfather at 89. I figure I have till 75 which leaves me 30 years to live the life I have always wanted. It is no longer a marathon for me as there is so much to do, learn, and experience. Gone are the days of waiting and wishing for a better life or be a better person. It takes work, and I have wasted decades in self-pity, doubt, and lack of self-worth. Being the best version of myself requires honest introspection, dedication, and the willingness to say no to the things that don’t serve my vision.

It also means being honest with others, and not fill myself with judgement about how they are not living the life I think they should be living. I can only control my own thoughts, emotions and actions. So today, on my birthday, I resolve to make acceptance my daily affirmation. It’s going to be a long journey because I am my father’s son, and I see more and more that it takes work to be loving of all not just the ones that make it easy. So here’s to 45 and 2017. Bring it on!